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Thread: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

  1. #1
    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    So after saving my pennies I finally got a used, but perfect, 50mm Zeiss Sonnar (thanks, Ocean), mostly to use on my M2. I took some "available darkness" photos a couple of nights ago and was very happy with the results, and looking very much forward to more.

    Unfortunately...

    I was the last one to leave work tonight. As I was leaving my area, with both my computer bag and my Domke containing M2/M8/lenses slung over my shoulder, I noticed my cube mate's little desk water fountain was running. So, I thought I'd turn it off for the weekend. I didn't see an inline switch anywhere, so bent over to unplug it from an extension cord on the floor. When I bent over, my Domke bag, which I'd shifted way, way back onto my hip/back, came swinging around my body and down, and slammed hard into a credenza. It seemed as though the "M2 compartment" of the bag took the brunt of the blow.

    I felt a little sick about it, but kind of shrugged it off for the moment, thinking "Leicas are tough. Probably at worst the rangefinder of the M2 is out of alignment". When I got to my car I decided to check. Nope, rangefinder was fine. But as I handled the M2, I became aware of a slight rattle as I moved it around. I was sickened to discover that the front, moving, portion of my beautiful Sonnar was now fairly loose. The glass seems to be fine, but the front of the lens is now certainly "wobbly".

    I haven't tested it on my M8 yet (will do very soon), but I'm wondering if anyone wants to take a guess at the prognosis. I'm hoping it will be a simple/short tightening of some retaining ring or other (?).

    Makes me want to cry...

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Update: I took some informal test shots with my M8 and the Sonnar seems to be focusing properly @ f/1.5 and other apertures (it's optimized for 1.5). Overall, the images look OK. So perhaps, just a tightening here or there is needed to get it ship-shape again.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Oh, Mike! I'm so sorry. I've been in a similar situation and can guess how you feel. I hope you find no harm done...
    Osman

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Thanks for your sympathies, Osman. I've shot a roll of film with it, and now need to cut the negatives and scan and see what I have. I've contacted my local service guy and he sounds very concerned about it. My feeling is, if the pictures look OK, the most I'm going to need is to have a retaining ring tightened, or something. I hope that's right, anyway!

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Mike,

    Glad it wasn't totaled. Your photos on the analog forum look pretty good. Hopefully, as you said, it just needs tightening up. Cheers, Matt

    http://mdriscoll.zenfolio.com

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    when I slipped last week and gouged my hand I scratched my gitzo badly, chipped a filter, and my domke also slipped and banged against a rock. My self-waxing I did to my f-5xb has made it MUCH more rigid though, and the corner seemed to take all the brunt.

    It didn't stop me from almost throwing up in my mouth as it happened haha.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Thanks for the thoughts, guys . The lens went to my local guy for a check-out today. Won't have it back for at least a week, though. Hopefully his curiosity will get the better of him and he's at least taken it out of the box for a quick look.

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    oh no mike! hopefully your local guy will tell you exactly what you thought - tighten a few screws, and good as new!
    Jerry
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Thanks, Jerry. I hope so, too. In the meantime, if I need a 50mm, at least I can still shoot with my Planar that nobody seemed to want .

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    I dropped my 28 Summicron once - totally bent and froze up the helicoid and took a chunk of metal out of the body. Glass was fine fortunately. $500 some dollars later Leica had it looking like new. Fortunately I'd only paid about $1400 for it to begin with (this was before digital).

    The front collars of Leica lenses often come loose and have wobble, really nothing to worry about. DAG, Sherry Krauter, or even your local repair person could probably tighten it up for you in the $60-$100 range. Of course you'd be without it for awhile which is a pain.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Just talked to my (relatively) local repair guy. He's recommending I send it to Zeiss. Apparently some guides (or something like that) in the barrel got deformed by the slam to the front of the lens. He's afraid if he attempts it, it will be cost-prohibitive what with parts, etc.

    It actually seems to be shooting OK (no formal tests). I suppose I could just live with it as is, but will most likely send it in.

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Mike,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Sonnar. Perhaps you can also send e-mail to DAG since the lens was serviced by him not long ago (I will e-mail you the invoice detail of last service).

    I had similar experience during the past two years - once on the Leica R8 and the other on the Rolleilex 3.5F. On Leica R8, it made a big dent on the lens hood but without any damages to the lens and body. But on the Rolleiflex, it completely jammed the f-stop and speed dials and focus frame was also bent.

    As much as I like Domke bags (I have three on them). They don't provide adequate project in these situations.

    All the best,

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
    Mike,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Sonnar. Perhaps you can also send e-mail to DAG since the lens was serviced by him not long ago (I will e-mail you the invoice detail of last service).

    I had similar experience during the past two years - once on the Leica R8 and the other on the Rolleilex 3.5F. On Leica R8, it made a big dent on the lens hood but without any damages to the lens and body. But on the Rolleiflex, it completely jammed the f-stop and speed dials and focus frame was also bent.

    As much as I like Domke bags (I have three on them). They don't provide adequate project in these situations.

    All the best,
    Thanks for your thoughts, C.D. You of all people know I put off buying it for a while to get up the $$. Now I have to spend more to make it as perfect as when you sold it to me . What's interesting is the lens still focuses smoothly and the aperture ring feels and works just fine. I always have the option of just ignoring it, but that little rattle is disconcerting.

    I agree on the Domke bags. Unfortunately a bulkier bag would make me less liable to carry my gear. I guess it's a trade-off, and we have to be more careful with them.

    Thanks for the info, re DAG. Will look out for it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Just heard back from Zeiss. The rep says based on the damage I can expect repair cost from $350-425 (ouch). I'll have to wait a bit longer for the final estimate. He did offer me the option of purchasing a new lens, direct, and already adjusted for f/1.5 focus, for a significant discount from retail. Interesting.

    Or, since it seems to be shooting basically OK, do I just pay to have it shipped back, and use it, rattles and all, knowing I'll have a $ loss when/if I sell it. Decisions, decisions.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    FYI, all the Sonnar is back from Zeiss. Repair cost: $245. It's tight as a drum now and looking/feeling brand new. A couple of test shots at f/1.5 on my M8 show it to be focusing correctly as well. This is now my favorite lens (since it's my most expensive one and we've been through so much together).

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Congratulations on being reunited and it being a happy occasion!

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Thanks, Terry . Going away for a shooting weekend, so maybe it will get some use (the big Fuji 6x9 will probably get more, though).

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    Thanks, Terry . Going away for a shooting weekend, so maybe it will get some use (the big Fuji 6x9 will probably get more, though).
    So happy to hear that the lens is fixed!

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    Re: My new (to me) Sonnar just met with disaster...

    All's well that end's well, eh? Congrats on a positive outcome.

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